One of the most significant manuscript collections in private hands in England is contained at Hatfield House. More than 30,000 documents are available from ambassadorial reports to financial accounts. The shorthand description is the Cecil Papers being as they are the work of William Cecil, Lord Burghley and his son Robert, the 1st Earl of Salisbury, both of whom reached the highest levels of power during reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the early years of James VI. They cover such events as the Tudor plantation of Ireland, the Gunpowder Plot, the Spanish Armada, the loss of the city of Calais to the French, and French interference in Scotland.The papers were calendared by the Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission in a twenty-four volume series entitled: Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Honourable Marquis of Salisbury. This interactive version allows keyword searching of the whole series or individual volumes. This is a required resource when dealing with this time period. Absolutely essential.
For those who would like a flavor of the full documents, the following volumes offer selected full-text material from this vast collection: A collection of state papers, relating to the reigns of King Henry VIII, King Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, from the year 1542 t0 1570 (1740); and A collection of state papers relating to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, from the year 1571 to 1596….(1759).